Jaro Artist Feature: The Distinctive Journey Of Marie-Denise Douyon
Ayanna DeVaughn – Social Media Specialist
Marie-Denise Douyon, a Canadian fine artist with Haitian roots, began a life of migratory journeys. Growing up in North Africa, first in Algeria and then Morocco, her unique childhood experiences were meshed with distinctive artistic expressions and multicultural identities, which shaped her into the artist she is today.
This drifting, nomadic lifestyle is deeply reflected within her paintings, where dislocation is a common theme. Observing the work of Douyon urges its viewers to gain a sense of awareness of the fusion between African cultures, particularly within the context of contemporary artistic expression.
Furthermore, her artwork often reflects her concerns for the socio-environmental disasters continuously threatening our planet. Utilizing recycled materials within her work, Douyon tackles issues such as global warming, the export of dangerous waste, and the flight of environmental refugees. Her inspiration stems from her roots in Haitian culture. Combining her artistic talents with her passion for recycling, Douyon pays tribute to the affluence of a traditional society countered with a cultural heritage in danger of extinction.
“This piece is made from recovered cut panels of architectural models and is influenced by African geometric patterns,” said Douyon about Aqua Questioning. “Playing with depth and overlapping shapes, I recall the pattern of Massai Fabrics, on the left side, a Massai figure stands alone suggesting the exodus and survival of traditional African society. I focus my artistic approach on environmental issues. My concern for the socio-environmental disasters, which threaten our planet, have led me to create a series of contemporary unique works from discarded and recycled materials or found objects.”
As an international artist, Marie-Denise Douyon’s artwork has been exhibited in Canada, the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean. Douyon earned her fine arts degree from New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology, and currently resides and works in Montreal, Quebec. View more of Douyon’s work at her website.